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Common Sense Alone Not Enough in Patent Law, U.S. Court Finds

  • Apple, Google will have to face patent over document searches
  • Appeals court reverses decision that Arendi patent is invalid

Judges can’t rely on common sense alone when analyzing the validity of a patent, an appeals court ruled Wednesday in a loss for Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

A U.S. Patent and Trademark Office review board was wrong to use only “common knowledge and common sense” -- without more to back it up -- to invalidate a patent closely held Arendi S.A.R.L. had asserted against the tech companies, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled.

That rationale “cannot be used as a wholesale...